An Ohio woman is facing criminal trespassing and petty theft charges after entering a dog owner’s property to rescue a starving dog from serious neglect.
The Portsmouth, Ohio woman being charged is Rhonda Rose, treasurer of the Scioto Area Humane Society who was charged 8 days after removing the starving dog from his home and taking him to a veterinarian for help.
“When I took the dog I took it to the vet and the vet verified it was starvation,” Rose said. After taking the dog to the veterinarian, she contacted the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office for help.
The large breed dog weighed only 61-pounds when he was rescued – about half of what he should have weighed.
Captain Robert Woodward with the sheriff’s office would not comment on why Rose was charged and said will not talk about an ongoing case.
But, Rose’s attorney, John Bell says she was well within her rights to enter the property to rescue the dog, citing Ohio Revised Code, 1717.13, which reads:
When, in order to protect any animal from neglect, it is necessary to take possession of it, any person may do so. When an animal is impounded or confined, and continues without necessary food, water, or proper attention for more than fifteen successive hours, any person may, as often as is necessary, enter any place in which the animal is impounded or confined and supply it with necessary food, water, and attention, so long as it remains there, or, if necessary, or convenient, he may remove such animal; and he shall not be liable to an action for such entry. In all cases the owner or custodian of such animal, if known to such person, immediately shall be notified by him of such action. If the owner or custodian is unknown to such person, and cannot with reasonable effort be ascertained by him, such animal shall be considered a stray and dealt with as such.
The necessary expenses for food and attention given to an animal under this section may be collected from the owner of such animal, and the animal shall not be exempt from levy and sale upon execution issued upon a judgment for such expenses.
Today, the dog is living on a farm in Kentucky, weighs 120-pounds, and is doing wonderfully since Rose rescued him from neglect. The dog’s neglectful former owner has not been charged with animal abuse.
Rose will face her charges in court in February. Both the criminal trespassing and petty theft charges are misdemeanors.